By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Live from Ontario, California at the Citizens Business Bank Arena
205 Live GM narrated the opening teaser, hyping up the advertised matches for 205 Live. The 205 Live theme aired…
Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary. Akira Tozawa made his entrance first. Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy came out next. Murphy left Nese alone out of respect to allow him to fight Tozawa by himself. Nese did his unnecessarily long and dull entrance routine…
1. Akira Tozawa vs. Tony Nese. Tozawa started off the match by getting the crowd to chant his “Ah” chant. Nese tried to intimidate Tozawa with his bicep but Tozawa responded with an “ah” chant. Tozawa dropped Nese with a straight right hand and then stomped a mudhole into Nese. Nese countered Tozawa with a slam and then mocked the “ah” chants. Tozawa went for a crossbody but Nese caught Tozawa and then tossed his face into the apron. Nese initiated some methodical offense on Tozawa.
Nese nailed Tozawa with an outside-in Triangle Moonsault. Tozawa punched his way out of a Torture Rack. Tozawa turned the tide with a huracanrana and shining wizard. Nese rolled outside to prevent Tozawa’s diving senton. Tozawa then flew like a brick into Nese with a suicide dive. Nese crotched Tozawa on the top rope, punted Tozawa in the air, and planted Tozawa with his signature gutbuster. Tozawa dodged the Running Nese. Nese punched Tozawa with a right forearm. Both men traded counters. Tozawa managed to fend off Nese with a boot. Nese caught Tozawa with a rising palm strike which sent Tozawa’s mouthguard flying. Tozawa sent Nese off the top rope with a front suplex. Tozawa hit the diving senton for the win.
Akira Tozawa defeated Tony Nese via pinfall in 7:36.
John’s Thoughts: A good match between two guys who need a little bit of character work. Tozawa has a decent character, but it’s a bit odd that he’s business-as-usual after what was supposed to be a blood feud with Hideo Itami. Tony Nese has improved his in ring immensely since the old 205 days, but he’s still playing that jobber body guy character that he played back then. They have teased doing something new with Nese several times only to have him revert back to the ab guy that loses. Very odd.
Vic Joseph recapped highlights from last week’s triple threat main event. Drake Maverick was shown backstage in a pink polo shirt. Cedric Alexander walked to Maverick and asked Maverick to make Hideo Itami the number one contender to his title after Itami won the match last week. Drake Maverick told Alexander that he doesn’t reward bad behavior and used TJP as an example. Maverick said he’s surprised that Alexander is vouching for Itami. Alexander said he just wants to face all types of competition. Alexander said that Itami can be an oversensitive jackass sometimes but Itami has earned respect with his legendary status. Alexander said he wants a win over Itami to be a notch under his belt. Maverick said he’ll consider it. Percy Watson hyped up Lio Rush making his debut after the commercial… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A good backstage segment that rationalized Alexander wanting Itami in the title picture while also building Drake Maverick as a credible GM. Well… as long as you aren’t a Raw GM (i.e. Kurt Angle or Mick Foley), you are considered to be a respectable authority figure. Another fun aspect of that promo was Maverick establishing that he’s straight-laced by not rewarding bad behavior. He established that by mentioning that TJP was in their version of the doghouse.
Lio Rush made his 205 Live debut wearing a sweater and a handful of bling. Nigel McGuinness said that Lio Rush actually doesn’t do a lot of high flying but his speed makes it look like he’s flying…
2. Lio Rush vs. Dewey James. 205 Live continues to line up great jobber-types for their enhancement matches. This guy’s name is Dewey and he looks like he lost his puppy (kinda reminds me of a jobber-version of UK Wrestler James Drake). Lio Rush stalled after the bell was rung by taking his sweet time taking off his jewelery. Nigel McGuinness wanted Dewey to punch Rush in the face while he has a chance. This stalling drew some boos. Rush finally got his studded bracelet off. Rush walked up to Dewey, bitch slapped him, and laughed in his face.
Rush showed off his unique ability to stop on a dime by running circles around the enhancement guy. Rush then did an impressive matrix dodge, into a handstand, and into two kicks all under the timespan of five or so seconds. Rush trash talked and toyed with Dewey James. Nigel McGuinness talked about how Lio Rush has become this skilled at pro wrestling after being an amateur wrestler and only three years of pro wrestling experience. Nigel compared Rush to Kurt Angle.
John’s Thoughts: I know Nigel had that great program with Kurt Angle back in the day, but when McGuinness makes Sean Waltman or Kurt Angle complements on commentary, I can’t help but feel that’s being fed by Paul Levesque directly, as those are lines he uses on his conference calls.
Rush took Dewey off the apron with a handstand double boot. Rush turned a kip up into a quick basement roundhouse. Rush went to the top rope and hit Dewey James with “The Final Hour” (Five Star Frog Splash) for the win.
Lio Rush defeated Dewey James via pinfall in 1:49.
Dasha Fuentes interviewed Rush after the match inside of the ring about his debut. Rush said the future for the division is here, the 24 year old piece of gold. Rush said he can do things in the ring that people in the locker room can only dream of doing. Rush said he sees people who are good around here but they aren’t Lio Rush. He said they have no style, fenesse, and presense. Rush said he’s the man of the hour and every hour is his time. He said 205 Live is about to “feel the rush”…
Renee Young surprised Cedric Alexander for an interview and she said she was surprised that Cedric Alexander wanted to face Hideo Itami. Alexander reiterated the point he made to Drake Maverick. Hideo Itami walked into the scene and the two men started shoving each other. It took the referees and Drake Maverick to break up the brawl… [C]
John’s Thoughts: The 1:49 time says it all. Rush gets a lot of content in his match in only a short amount of time and it’s good seeing him in a winning position as opposed to the enhancement position they had him in on NXT when it looked like he was in the doghouse. Rush can do things that no one else can do in WWE with his quick movements. If Sonic the Hedgehog were a pro wrestler, he’d be Lio Rush. Rush’s promo cadence may be a bit awkward, but he has to go hammy to draw heat with such a fun moveset. I liked that promo and the pre-match stalling to at least make an attempt to turn the crowd against him. His promo reminded me a bit of MVP. The only criticism I have is an NXT/WWE problem by making every wrestler end their promo with a catchphrase. With EC3 it’s “top one percent”. With Aleister Black it’s “Fade to Black”. With Rush it’s “Feel the rush”. So corny.
3. “Lucha House Party” Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik, and Kalisto vs. Drew Gulak, Jack Gallagher, and The Brian Kendrick in a six-man elimination tag team match. Lucha House Party brought their Drew Gulak Pinata effigy with them. Lucha House Party started off the match with stereo superkicks and stereo flip dives to the outside. LHP traded quick tags while working on Jack Gallagher. Kalisto used Dorado as a Rocket Launcher on Gallagher and Dorado followed up with a splash. Metalik hit Gallagher with a tightrope splash. Kendrick broke up the pin attempt. He was still wearing his jacket for some reason.
Metalik hit a reverse Sling Blade on Gallagher. Gulak held Metalik on the top rope. The distraction was enough for Gallagher to intercept a diving Metalik with a headbutt. Gallagher beat Metalik in about a minute into the match. (Wait, what?). Dorado attacked both Kendrick and Gulak to try to overcome the numbers advantage. Gulak repeated his strategy of holding Dorado on the top rope. Dorado managed to hit a High Fly Flow on Kendrick. Gallagher held Dorado on the top rope to allow Kendrick to backtoss Dorado. Gulak tagged in to continue the methodical attack on Dorado.
Gulak slammed Dorado’s face on the ground and Dorado’s mask fell off in the action. Gulak and Gallagher dominated Dorado while Dorado’s mask was hanging loose on his face. The heel trio piled on punches on Dorado. Dorado fended off the heels and surprised Kendrick with the Lethal Injection to pick up the pinfall an eliminate Kendrick. Gallagher and Gulak initiated joint manipulation on Dorado. Dorado nailed Gallagher with an enziguri but Gallagher fell into the tag. Gulak hit Dorado with a gut punch. Dorado countered Gulak’s still strikes with a spinning heel kick.
The Brian Kendrick ran to the apron even though he was eliminated to knock off Kalisto. Gulak took advantage of the distracted Dorado and he eliminated Dorado with the Gu-Lock. Kalisto took down Gulak and Gallagher with enziguris. He took down Gulak with a seated senton and frankendriver. Gallagher prevented the subsequent pin attempt. Gallagher tortured Kalisto on the outside for a bit. A bunch of kids in the crowd chanted “cheater” at Gallagher. Gulak tagged in and said “who’s the cheater now?”. Gulak body slammed Kalisto on the bottom rope. Gulak dominated Kalisto for a sequence. Kalisto outwitted Gulak by running on him and using that to nail Gallagher with the SDS. Kalisto got Gulak to the outside and hit him with a knee springboard senton.
Kalisto hit a clean crossbody on Gulak. Kalisto went for the SDS but Gulak escaped with a simple dodge. Gulak hit Kalisto with a discus lariat to get a nearfall. Gulak blocked another SDS attempt by ripping off the mask of Kalisto. Gulak wins the match by making Kalisto tap out to the Gu-Lock.
Drew Gulak, The Brian Kendrick, and Jack Gallagher defeated Lucha House Party in 17:35.
Gulak grabbed Kalisto’s pinata of him, ripped it, and tossed it into the hard camera side of the crowd. Gulak walked up the ramp with his focused look while backtracking…
John’s Thoughts: The first two eliminations were weird and reeked of those predictable quick eliminations early in television matches. Once those happened, the match got really good. The match was fun and I liked them establishing Gulak as dirty but not chickenshiz. Gulak and Gallagher wouldn’t make a bad team. Kendrick just needs to be extricated from this trio because he is dragging the whole ship down. I’m not saying Kendrick is bad, he’s just not a good fit with Gallagher since he returned.
Overall, this was a good show in-ring wise, but the storylines are threading water. The highlight of the show was the debut of Lio Rush. Go out of your way to check that debut because it only lasted a few minutes. I know there’s a lot of pro wrestling this week with the WWE UK tournament, Raw, Smackdown with the Team Hell No reunion, Impact, Lucha Underground, and more I’m just not going to write because there is too much damn wrestling out there. This might get lost in the shuffle. I’ll be by later today with the Members Exclusive Audio Review.